Smiles and Tears

     As many readers of these few lines know we make frequent trips to the South American country of Guyana. Over the years we have developed great friendships with people there. Romans 12:15 describes the essential elements of a good and proper friendship: “Rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep.” On this trip we experienced both of these elements.

     Sunil Joseph is an important part of our work in Guyana. He is a faithful Christian who helps us immensely in doing what we need to do there in the most efficient way possible. As many of you know he lost his wife Samatha a few weeks back. Without doubt she was the love of his life. Sunil and their children, Stephanie and Stephen, are still in the midst of the process of grief. One never “gets over” such a loss but time and faith do make things better. When we have friends who experience a profound loss like that of the Joseph family we weep with them.

     Of course we all have friends and family here at home that suffer loss. Paul would have us remember that weeping with those who weep is an important part of being a faithful Christian.

     So also is rejoicing with those that rejoice. While we were at Bartica there in Guyana we went out to see the house that Michael and Jennifer Osborne built at the Four Mile housing development. It is a simple wood frame house like many that were built here in years past. They are still working on it but it is to a point that they are living in it. Michael has worked with the church in Bartica from the beginning of our involvement there. In that time he and Jennifer have rented places to live, some of which were better than others. Real estate values have sky-rocketed in that town and finding a good place to live for a reasonable rent was getting harder and harder.

     The most impressive part of our visit to see the house was seeing the smile on Jennifer’s face as we drove up to the house. Her joy at no longer having to move about the town was evident and contagious. It was a blessing to be able to rejoice with her and Michael. So in like manner we have friends and family here that have good things happen in their lives. Be sure to rejoice with them.

     Tears are meant to be shared. So are smiles. Such is the life of a child of God.